Inherent conflicts exist when donors finance academic research about the effectiveness of charity projects they support, notes a blog post highlighted in Give and Take, The Chronicle’s roundup of the best blog posts about the nonprofit world.
Plus, in our daily digest, you can find discussions about:
- How nonprofit groups should respond to the growing availability of information.
- The effectiveness of groups that offer small loans.
- Whether philanthropy is a dead concept.
I wrote earlier this week about “What’s a Lead” and today I’m going to talk about responding to these leads. When you come back from an event you attended, what do you do with your leads? Does it take months before any of these people ever hear from you again?
I’ve found that people have very short-term memory when you first meet them. There are so many nonprofits, so many networking events, and so many people to meet. If you wait too long, people start to forget who you are. I try to send an email within a day of meeting someone new. That way they still remember who I am, and it gives us another chance to reconnect. I often check to see if they are on LinkedIn and send them a connection invitation with my nice to meet you email.
Once you’ve emailed them, think about ways that you can plug them in. Maybe it’s an invitation to an upcoming event or inviting them on a tour. The important thing is that you make an initial connection after you’ve met.
- What’s a Lead
- Getting a Hold of People
- Event Invitation Mistakes
- Drowning in Agendas
- Who Likes Meetings?
In the nearly three years since he took office, California Attorney General Jerry Brown has raised nearly $10-million for charities he oversees, including more than $100,000 from gambling establishments regulated by his office, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Five Los Angeles-area “card clubs” have donated to two Bay Area charter schools that Mr. Brown founded during his tenure as mayor of Oakland. Corporate giants such as Pacific Gas & Electric, AT&T, and Wal-Mart have given $50,000 or more to the schools.
Mr. Brown, a two-time Democratic presidential candidate and former California governor who is viewed as a leading candidate to reclaim his old job in next year’s state elections, said the donations have no effect on his public work, asserting, “I have an unimpeachable record of integrity.”
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Benjamin Todd Jealous, who took the helm last year of the century-old civil-rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is leading efforts to expand the organization’s reach beyond its core constituency of African Americans, according to The Washington Post.
The NAACP, which has 2,200 chapters, now includes under its umbrella a group comprising Bangladeshi Americans in Hamtramck, Mich.; chapters in Seattle and San Jose headed by Southeast Asians; and groups in the Southwest that include Latinos and Native Americans. The Post article highlights a chapter in a Maine prison made up mostly of white men.
Read The Chronicle’s recent profile of Mr. Jealous.
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A Southern California couple have built their nonprofit social-service organization into a statewide, $63-million-a-year enterprise that has paid them more than $7-million over the past five years, says the Los Angeles Times.
Social Vocational Services, founded in 1978 by Edward Dawson and now run by Mr. Dawson and his wife, Marcia, provides job and other training, as well as group housing for the developmentally disabled.
Its financial practices, which have included paying the Dawsons $700,000 annually for renting properties to the organizations, have come under scrutiny from the California attorney general’s office. The organization was also one of five cited by a Senate commission in a 2005 report on employment programs for their executive pay and perks and suspected self-dealing.
The Dawsons did not return the newspaper’s calls for comment. A lawyer for Social Vocational Services said the couple believes their pay should be commensurate with what they would earn in the business world.
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The satirical TV show The Colbert Report will be the primary sponsor of the U.S. Speedskating team, raising money from the program’s ardent fans as the squad prepares for next year’s Vancouver Olympics, reports the Associated Press.
Host Stephen Colbert announced the deal on his show Monday. The name “Colbert Nation,” as Mr. Colbert styles his audience, will appear on U.S. skaters’ uniforms during the games.
The squad’s biggest sponsor in previous years, DSB Bank NV, declared bankruptcy last month. The Colbert Report will not make any direct donations but is calling on viewers to give, a strategy that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which benefits injured service members and their families.
The pop star Sting is also mixing charity and sports, co-founding a nonprofit organization to send indestructible soccer balls to kids in poor and strife-torn areas, The Washington Post reports.
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British charities will likely take a fund-raising hit running into the millions of dollars if planned strikes by postal workers continue into the Christmas holiday, Third Sector Online reports.
“If there is a backlog in the postal system [due to strikes], people will receive a large amount of mail when the strike is over and may be less likely to read and respond to appeals,” said the report by the Institute for Fundraising, a professional development group that surveyed member organizations about their holiday prospects. “People want to give before Christmas, not after.”
Christian Aid, in London, will eliminate at least 70 jobs, nearly a tenth of its workforce, as the recession and the weak British pound continue to batter Britain’s big relief organizations, reports Third Sector Online.
John Davison, head of Christian Aid, said the charity is negotiating with union representatives about the move, which could save the charity about $4.9-million in each of the next two years.
Another British aid group, Cafod, also plans to announce layoffs this week, while a spokeswoman for Oxfam said that group “is looking into a restructure next year” that could include job cuts.
Nonprofit organizations are increasingly looking at their property holdings as a revenue generator, the Washington Business Journal reports, citing a survey of charities and business associations by the commercial brokerage group CB Richard Ellis.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents listed real estate as an alternative income source, up five percentage points from 2008. Professional associations were more likely to do so than charities, by a 42-36 margin.
As Virginia voters decide today who will be their next governor, nonprofit workers in the state have been pushing the candidates to speak up on charity issues, reports The Chronicle’s Government and Politics Watch column.